Czech current account swings back into deficit in Nov 2013, market expected surplus.

By bne IntelliNews January 17, 2014

The Czech current account turned back into a deficit of CZK 7.26bn (EUR 264mn) in November 2013 from a surplus of CZK 7.76bn the month before, data from the central bank showed. The deterioration reflected a deficit on the income balance that could not counterbalance rising surpluses on the trade and current transfers accounts. The reading defied market expectations as analysts were forecasting a surplus of CZK 8bn.

The surplus on trade in goods widened by 4.8% on the month to CZK 19.9bn in November, whereas the services surplus shank by 77% m/m to CZK 1.3bn.

The income account deficit more than doubled to CZK 40.1bn in November from 19.1bn in October. Dividends totalling CZK 30.7bn were paid out in November, the central bank said.

The surplus of current transfers surged to CZK 11.7bn in November from CZK 2.4bn the month before. The balance of current transfers included a surplus of CZK 13.4bn on transfers from the EU budget to the Czech Republic.

On an annual basis, the current account also deteriorated in November 2013 as in the same month of 2012 it had a surplus of CZK 4.4bn.

The 12-month rolling deficit stood at CZK 54.8bn, equalling to 1.5% of 2013 GDP forecast, according to IntelliNews calculations.

According to the finance ministry’s October macroeconomic forecast, the current account deficit should narrow to 1.7% of GDP in 2013 from 2.4% in 2012. In the October edition of its World Economic Outlook, the IMF forecast this year’s Czech current account gap at 1.8% of the economic output, while the European Commission sees it at 1.6%.

Balance of Payments (CZK mn)      
  Nov 2013 Oct 2013 Nov 2012
I Current Account -7 263,9 7 759,5 4 403,1
A. Trade balance 19 904,1 18 996,4 14 490,9
B. Balance of services 1 264,7 5 499,5 2 722,6
C. Income balance -40 119,9 -19 143,6 -15 590,0
D. Current transfers 11 687,2 2 407,2 2 779,6
II Capital Account 34,8 18 495,0 253,8
III Financial Account 17 593,6 -32 026,6 -14 203,5
Source: Czech central bank      

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